The third workshop in our 2013 Agriculture workshop series was held this past week. This was the second workshop held this month, with two more in store on March 29th and 30th.   We Are All Farmers Permaculture Institute ( will be joining us from North Carolina this weekend for a 2-day Permaculture Blast! An extremely busy month here in Williamson!

On the day of the workshop, which had already been postponed due to weather, snow was in the forecast, and it was a blistering 30 degrees. So, instead of rescheduling once again, we decided it would be best to hold the workshop inside. Fortunately, the  Williamson Fire Department was gracious enough to donate their space to our workshop, despite our last minute request.

The workshop instructor, Dr. Daniel Frank, an agriculture expert specializing in Pest Identification and Management drove to Williamson from WVU in Morgantown that day for a two-hour workshop. Dr. Frank discussed various pests that primarily target fruit trees such as apples, pears and peaches, but possessed knowledge on many common gardening and household pests. Approximately 25 captive audience members were present, and listened attentively as he went through a lengthy, but very interesting, slideshow on different pests.

 Participants watch a slideshow on outdoor pests

While the workshop was originally scheduled to  focus more specifically on the Mingo county orchard, it ended up catering most to the concerns of gardeners and producers, as many of the participants were farmers and producers. This especially worked out for both of our sites, as we do have several trees at the community gardens, and five acres of fruit production at our orchard.

The audience asked a sufficient number of questions, and did an excellent job at picking at Dr. Daniel Frank’s brain,. I am quite confident that this spring we will see more Williamson residents out there growing their own fruit trees, and monitoring the pests that inhabit them!!

After two successful workshops in a row, I am very much looking forward to the workshop on the 29th and 30th. We have received over 50 RSVPs from local residents, as well as from individuals across the region. If you are interested in joining us, or would like more information, please e-mail me at